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BBC FOUR, 21 January 2005, 9.00pm
One of the most enigmatic, idiosyncratic and chaotic garage bands of the last 30 years, The Fall are led by the belligerent and poetic Mark E Smith.
The band grew out of the fringe of the Manchester punk scene and to date have released in excess of three dozen albums, toured relentlessly, inspired two successful stage plays, recorded 24 Peel Sessions and performed with contemporary ballet dancer Michael Clarke, along with various spoken word events.
All this has happened under the guidance of Smith with various line-ups currently totalling over 40 different members.
They have never conformed to fashion or musical trends and when asked why they were his favourite band, John Peel replied: "They are always different, they are always the same."
This is the first time that Mark E Smith has agreed to the story being told on television and he, along with many of the major players, takes us through this unique English rock 'n' roll story.
Their rollercoaster story is told alongside footage of their most recent and sadly now last Peel Session recorded in August at the legendary BBC Maida Vale studios.
There is also film of John playing out the session at Peel Acres a week later.
Contributors include past and present band members including Marc Riley, Una Baines, Steve Hanley, Ben Pritchard and Eleni Smith plus thoughts from key fans and critics including Paul Morley, Tony Wilson, Stewart Lee, promoter Alan Wise, original Buzzcocks manager Richard Boon and Franz Ferdinand.
The director is Dionne Newton and the producer is Alison Howe.
…This documentary on BBC4 was a notch above the usual rockumentary. If you've forgotten that you love the Fall, this is a must-see. —fakejazz
…an outstanding 2005 BBC4 documentary that is so good, the lack of a subsequent DVD release would be criminal. —WFMU